How to start and maintain your Seven Days of Love exercise program

Isometric bent over row Day 5For the seven days leading up to Valentine’s Day, Catching Health shared a daily video of Andy Wight demonstrating an easy-to-do exercise. Andy is a strength coach who co-owns AW Strength and Conditioning in Westbrook, Maine with Andy Kinslow.

Seven Days of Love is our way of encouraging you to get in shape and show yourself some love. With each video, Andy added simple instructions. To make it even easier for you, he has some more tips and recommendations. If you want to see the original blog posts with the videos, click on the name of each exercise.

Day one: Squats to Bench

I usually recommend starting off with two to three rounds of eight to 10 reps. Once squating to the bench becomes easier (usually 2-3 weeks), then you can progress to squating without the bench behind you. Test out a couple of reps to see how it feels. If you feel comfortable then start at 6-8 reps and you can progress to more.

Day two: Push-ups

Set a baseline, as many as you can do within a one minute or technical failure. Then perform rounds at 60-80 percent of that maximum. For instance, if your max is 10 push ups, then you would perform rounds of six to eight. I usually recommend two to three rounds.

Day three: Plank

Key points: Line up your elbows directly under your shoulder, Draw belly button into spine. Push yourself as far away from the ground as possible. No pain should be felt in lower back. Start off holding for 20 seconds and this can be done for three rounds. If you are at a point where you can hold for 45 seconds or more for repeated rounds, then it is time to move to another exercise or variation of this one.

Day four: Reverse lunge with a slider

If you don’t have a slider, make sure that the item you are using slides easily across the floor. One big focus as you are sliding backward is to make sure your torso is tall. Try to avoid any rounding over. However, you don’t have to remain completely vertical. You can have a slight lean forward (I even encourage people that I work with to have a slight lean forward). Start off performing six reps for each leg for two to three rounds. Focus on maintaining your balance and really dig the front/working leg into the ground when pulling yourself up.

Day five: Isometric bent over row

Proper set up is key to this exercise. The hinge at the waist and a flat/neutral spine are very important. When creating the tension through the upper body, remember to engage your core and keep your midsection tight (Think about squeezing your abs together). Hold the tension for two to three rounds for 20 seconds.

Day six: Romanian deadlift

Start with five reps for each leg and two to three rounds. This one challenges the balance so really focus on controlling the movement and remaining stable. Also remain tall during the movement. We have a natural tendency to round our backs when performing a movement like this. So, think about keeping a neutral spine as you hinge forward.

Day seven: Dead bug

Focus on keeping lower back flat to the floor, move one leg at a time, as one leg extends out really focus on pulling the opposite leg in. Eight reps on each side to start for two to three rounds.

Questions?

If you have any questions for Andy, leave a message in the comment box at the bottom of the page or send me an email. 

AND, take a picture of yourself exercising and post it on the Catching Health Facebook page. Share the love!

Diane Atwood

About Diane Atwood

For more than 20 years, Diane was the health reporter on WCSH 6. Before that, a radiation therapist at Maine Medical Center and after, Manager of Marketing/PR at Mercy Hospital. Now she writes the award-winning blog Catching Health with Diane Atwood.